A lot has already been revealed about Amish Mafia’s cast including their real names, ages, and occupations.
For example, the protagonist known as “Lebanon Levi” on the show is really 33-year-old Levi King Stoltzfus who owns a construction business in his local Pennsylvania (a business he mentioned on a MySpace page that’s since been deleted) and he’s a volunteer fireman. And “Black Amish” is Alan Beiler who’s a professional actor who also employs Amish actors and Amish models for use in television productions, including the casting of Breaking Amish’s Sabrina Burkholder (née High) previously for NatGeo’s Amish at the Altar, and Beiler also owns a production company that was pitching similar Amish reality shows as far back as 2005.
That’s in addition to allegations made by two local scholars that there is no Amish Mafia, Discovery’s own admission that the show is contrived, and scenes of racketeering and destruction of property and even the name of a supposed local police department all being fabricated.
But now there’s a little truth coming out. Like the full names and abridged arrest histories of the cast members discovered by LancasterOnline.com who researched the convictions, and aside from the dates, none of which correlates to the show’s assertions of storied violent criminal histories. You can also read more about Levi Stoltzfus’ actual convictions in a previous post (note: the mug shots are the same fakes broadcast by Discovery).
* Levi King Stoltzfus: D.O.B., 6/30/79; Charges: public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, DUI (three times).
* Alvin Stoltzfus Lantz: D.O.B., 9/9/82; Charges: DUI, fleeing police.
* John Freeman Schmucker: D.O.B. 1/11/85; Charges: hit-and-run, marijuana possession, disorderly conduct (fighting).
* Esther Freeman Schmucker: D.O.B. 6/4/86; Charges: disorderly conduct (twice), DUI.
A few notes: If some of those names sound familiar, it appears “Schmucker” and “Stoltzfus” are very common names in the area. Think of Abe Schmucker and Kate Stoltzfus from Breaking Amish that was filmed in the same locale. Also, at least one thing on the show is true: John and Esther are siblings, or they’re at least related.
Also in the Lancaster Online story, locals talk about the hit-and-miss veracity of Discovery’s Amish Mafia.
Steven Echternach and Jonathan Heisse, noted as “two local cops [who act as] District Attorney Craig Stedman’s liaisons to the Amish community, working with local Anabaptist groups on crimes of all sorts,” say the existence of the Amish Mafia is news to them.
“I can say with absolute certainty that what I’m seeing on Discovery Channel is an exploitation of the Amish culture. It’s not a complete blatant lie, but the characterization is very misrepresentative,” said Echternach, Strasburg’s police chief.
“I think we would have heard about something like that.” said Heisse, a police lieutenant in New Holland (an area “heavily populated by Anabaptist groups”).
Local residents, including local Amish, claim to know that the cast is really of Amish upbringing (but not necessarily members of the Amish church).
Levi Stoltzfus’ former attorney, Barry Goldman, had never heard of his former client’s supposed affiliation with the Mafia. Goldman added: “He was a perfectly courteous client… I’ve never had a problem with Levi.”
Discovery has already defended the show. And they do so again, claiming the “Amish Mafia” is essential to the local community. ”We were told they don’t go to the police,” said Dolores Gavin, the show’s executive producer. “We stand by these stories and this series as factual and accurate.” The producer adds that she’s going on the word of “eyewitnesses.” She continues: “We don’t have the traditional proof that modern technology provides. They don’t post stuff on YouTube.”
The cast will be sitting for a special episode next week, giving tell-all interviews about the show.